COVID-19 and transportation
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must re-examine the ways in which we move around. Our rampant fossil fuel use for transportation has compromised our air quality and the lung health of our most vulnerable. The virus, which is especially deadly for people with respiratory issues, is testing our ability to keep the entire healthcare system functioning in the face of inundation. Additionally, as public transit agencies face catastrophic budget shortfalls from lack of ridership, the systems that millions of people rely upon to get to work and school are on the brink of financial ruin. What will we do as a society if these workers cannot get to their jobs when this crisis is over? Now is the time to think about investing in systems that support a healthy future for all of us. These systems must be clean and healthy (fossil-fuel-free), safe, and financially resilient (well-funded) to weather these kinds of emergencies. Micro-mobility (electric scooters and bikes) may have a unique role to play during these trying times when it’s important not to share enclosed spaces.
As lawmakers come together to secure an economic stimulus, we at The Climate Center are committed to working with state and local lawmakers to harness this unprecedented investment in our economy to put us on track for a climate-safe future, which must include climate-safe transportation.